Findings Revealed From SCG’s State of the Open Office Research Study
in 2016, Stegmeier Consulting Group concluded our latest research study, the State of the Open Office, with the intent of tracking reasons for employee resistance to open plans and the overall trend of open office implementation. Of the nearly 500 respondents (spanning 6 continents), approximately 200 provided a business email, allowing us to determine a representative workforce size of over 5.5 million employees.
We conducted this study with the goal of injecting pertinent data and real voices into a workplace conversation that is increasingly deluged with sensationalist (The Open Office is the Devil) thought-pieces. Today, we’d like to share our findings with you. Please visit the research section of our site to download a PDF copy of our report.
As a preview, we’d like to highlight a few particularly salient findings:
First, our study revealed the top three concerns about working in an open plan: 1) audible distractions, 2) a lack of audible privacy, and 3) uninvited interruptions from coworkers.
For individuals who recently moved to an open plan, the top annoyance was uninvited interruptions, which makes sense in that once workstation partitions are lowered or removed, coworkers often naturally perceive their colleagues to be available for collaboration, simply because they are now more visible.
Speaking of breaking down walls, it’s not just individual contributors shifting to a more open plan. The trend revealed in this study indicates a future shift to assigned and unassigned open workstations by all levels of organizations, including senior leaders and executives. The chart below (one of many in the full report) shows how overall plans are expected to evolve moving forward.